In recent weeks, the U.S. Coast Guard has continued to monitor a Russian vessel, believed to be an intelligence gathering ship, off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard Monitoring Russian Surveillance Ship Off Hawaii

Mike Schuler
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January 19, 2023

The U.S. Coast Guard is reporting that in recent weeks it has been monitoring what is believed to be a Russian surveillance ship off the Hawaiian Islands.

“The U.S. Coast Guard is currently monitoring the Russian vessel operating in the vicinity of Hawaii,” said Cmdr. Dave Milne, chief of External Affairs. “As part of our daily operations, we track all vessels in the Pacific area through surface and air assets and joint agency capabilities.”

The Coast Guard published video of the ship from January 11 which appears to show an underway refueling operation with a second Russia vessel. Experts have identified the ship as the Vishnya-class intelligence collection ship Kareliya (SSV-535), which has a history of operating in the area.

The video is included in the Tweet below:

“While foreign military vessels may transit freely through the U.S. economic exclusive zone (EEZ), as per customary international laws, foreign-flagged military vessels have often been observed operating and loitering within Coast Guard District Fourteen’s area of response,” the U.S. Coast Guard 14th District said in an update.

“The Coast Guard continues to coordinate with Department of Defense partners, providing updates to foreign vessel movements and activities and to appropriately meet presence with presence to encourage international maritime norms.

“The Coast Guard operates in accordance with international laws of the sea to ensure all nations can do the same without fear or contest. This is especially critical to secure freedom of movement and navigation throughout the Blue Pacific,” the update added.

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